As you know, some weeks are more interesting than others – and for me, the week beginning on the 18th was one of those weeks. . .
On Sunday, I did a baby blessing for Don and Leslie (all names changed). I officiated their wedding seven years ago. They both had been raised Catholic but are not regular church goers and so they didn’t want a formal baptism. Their Catholic roots, though, tugged at them – they wanted to do something to welcome and celebrate little Brett’s arrival in this world, in their family.
And so we had a blessing with family and close friends – people I first met seven years ago on another day of blessing. It was all so simple and so poignant. Leslie read a quote I had used at their wedding:
“A wise woman of old once wrote that, ‘It is the quality of life that matters most. The taste of the food on the table; the light in the room; the peace and wholeness of the moment. Perfect love casts out fear and the only perfect form of love found on earth is the wordless commitment of family.’”
Into such a world we welcomed Brett.
On Tuesday I was on line at a Starbucks in Glendale. I was checking email when a man tapped me on the shoulder. He was smiling, “JP, you probably don’t remember me, but I’m Fred and you married me and my wife Rosanna almost ten years ago.” I did remember them and I was so happy to reunite. Fred went on, “We still smile when we think on our ceremony and I just want you to know that I’m probably more in love with Rosanna than I’ve ever been.”
Starbucks was never so good. . .
On Thursday afternoon I went to the Pasadena home of Mark and Terry. They’re both at an age when AARP regularly sends them materials and because they’ve been together many years they’ve decided it’s time to marry and legally protect their life together. BUT, they really do want a big wedding celebration – later in the year, though. And so they decided to have a “secret wedding” with just two close friends. It was held in Terry’s home, which had belonged to her grandmother.
Warm. Cozy. Intimate. It was a lovely way to spend a weekday afternoon!
And then on Saturday I was off to Orange County to officiate the wedding of RJ and Alice, who were more than half the age of Mark and Terry. Over 200 friends and family came to cheer them on in their commitment.
Maybe it’s because their wedding culminated for me a week of special moments, I found myself especially moved as they offered their vows to each other.
There is so much hoopla surrounding a wedding, as well there should be. But what this ceremony-packed week showed me, reminded me, is that a wedding celebrates a couple’s commitment to honor and relish and live the ordinary routine of daily life.
WHAT do they all this week’s moments have in common? I think it can be summed up in this quote from the movie, “Shall We Dance?”
“We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. You're saying, 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’”
That’s what all these couples were doing – bearing witness to each other’s lives. And I couldn’t be happier or more honored that they invited me to share the celebrating of that witnessing!